Recent Blog Articles
Poison ivy: Scratchin’ like a hound?
Apps to accelerometers: Can technology improve mental health in older adults?
Opioid addiction and overdoses are increasingly harming Black communities
New Harvard tool helps fact-check cancer claims
Hand pain from arthritis? This may help
Polio: What parents need to know now
Ketamine for treatment-resistant depression: When and where is it safe?
Have lupus? What to know about birth control
Screening at home for memory loss: Should you try it?
Travel tummy troubles: Here’s how to prevent or soothe them
When thoughts become obsessions
How many germs are on that doorknob? What if the house burns down? A person with obsessive-compulsive disorder thinks about these things all the time.
We all have disturbing thoughts, but most of us quickly dismiss them or keep them in perspective. We use the restaurant restroom, wash our hands, and go back to enjoy dinner. We turn off the stove or space heater before leaving the house and then focus on our driving — not on the danger of a fire at home.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!